Friday, May 28, 2010


'Clayton', originally the Stephen Lloyd Bryce estate designed by Ogden Codman Jr. c. 1901 in Roslyn. The house was later purchased by Childs Frick, son of Henry Clay Frick of Carnegie Steel. Today the home operates as the Nassau County Museum of Art. Click HERE for more on 'Clayton'.

Pictures from American Estates & Gardens.


The Down East Dilettante said...

One of Codman's most attractive houses.

Today's trivia. The mantels, first quarter of the 19th century, apparently were salvaged from an old townhouse in lower Manhattan. Lloyd Bryce's daughter Cornelia, married Gifford Pinchot, George Vanderbilt's personal forester at Biltmore. Cornelia Bryce Pinchot took at least one of the mantels with her to the Pinchot home, Grey Towers, designed by Richard Morris Hunt. She remodeled the heavy Hunt interiors to be lighter and more modern, and used the mantel from Clayton in the library there.

As I said, trivia....

The Down East Dilettante said...

oops, forgot to include the link to a photo of the mantel as it is at Gray Towers:

And now memory plays a trick. It may be that the mantels were from a house in Washington---at any rate, they were from an earlier house, and at least one survives at Gray Towers.

Also, looking at the light and airy drawing room, it is amazing to me that the Fricks closed off the windows at the rear--to accomodate a tapestry.

magnus said...

On the trivia front-

Henry Clay Frick had two surviving children, his son Childs who purchased Clayton, and a daughter, Helen Clay Frick. Helen Frick was just about as unpleasant a piece of work as you could want: Sour, opinionated, reactionary and mule stubborn. I'm sure that she was a lesbian, although non of her relatives ever labled her as such. (I mention this only because her undoubted virginity only seems to have "fed the fire" of her frustrated life) She was her father's undoubted favorite (at the Frick house in New York, now the Frick Museum, early plans identify the bedroom ajoining Henry Frick as Helen's, not as his wife Adelaide's!). When he died, Helen inherited a far greater share of her father's fortune than her brother, although she was unmarried and unlikely ever to have children. As you can imagine, this caused deep resentment, although in true WASP fashion, it rarely surfaced- save one notable occasion: One of Helen's many prejudices and pet hates were the Germans, having something to do with the Hun and the First World War. So deep and thoughtless was her hatred of all things German, that she effectively blocked, whenever she could,the emmigration of German Jewish scholars, art historians, etc who, more far thinking museum directors were attempting to aid in the years leading up to the Second World War. Anyhow, apparently during the War, Helen was at Clayton for Christmas dinner. Two of her nephews entered the dining room dressed as Nazi officials, and proceeded to "arrest" Helen. They marched her around the room, then plunked her down in her chair, whereupon her brother poured a bottle of champagne over her head. She apparently never visited Clayton again.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

While Helen did get a greater share of the estate upon her father's death - keep in mind that on Child's wedding day he was gifted with houses AND $12 million. Helen never married and thus never received her wedding gift and so this was to even things out -at least how I have heard it.